As Thanksgiving approaches, it is a great time to think of the many things we are thankful for. Unsurprisingly, bugs are probably not on your list, but perhaps they should be. Insects and other bugs are vitally important to the ecosystem and benefit us in ways that you may never have considered. Here are five reasons you should be thankful for bugs this year:
Honeybees and other pollinators are vital to life as we know it. Honeybees help to pollinate over 100 crops including almost all our fruits and many varieties of nuts. Bees are so important that farmers now rent hives to place in their fields to ensure that their crops are successful. The world’s food supply depends on pollinators.
According John R. Meyer at NC State University, insects are critical in the aeration of soil. As they tunnel, burrow, and nest in the ground, they help turn the soil, which improves its ability to retain water, and increases its growing potential as nutrients are redistributed. In short, bugs help make our soil more fertile.
Another thing that beneficial insects do is control the population of nuisance insects. Dragonflies are extremely valuable because they eat dangerous, disease-spreading mosquitoes. Green Lacewings are famous amongst gardeners for eating numerous troublesome bugs like caterpillars, whiteflies, and thrips. Ladybugs are also beneficial to gardens because they eat aphids and tree lice. Farmers and gardeners will actually buy ladybugs to put in their gardens. These beneficial bugs can be attracted to your yard by using the right combinations of plants and flowers.
Insects are one of the first steps on the food chain. Numerous animals rely on bugs for survival. These include fish, birds, bats, frogs, snakes and so many more. Not only are bugs important for animals, but all across the developing world, insects are consumed by humans. John R. Meyer again discussed the importance of insects in the human diet saying, “In Mexico, dried grasshoppers are sold in village markets. High in protein and low in fat, they may be fried or ground into meal and mixed with flour to make tortillas. Ants, bees, termites, and caterpillars, water bugs, beetle larvae, flies, crickets, katydids, cicadas, and dragonfly nymphs are among a long list of edible insects that provide nutrition for the people of Australia, Africa, South America, the Middle East, and the Far East.”
Lastly, insects and other bugs actually make products that are beneficial to humans. Bees produce both beeswax and honey, which have become staples is our lives. Silkworms have been used for hundreds of years to make clothing. Silk is the strongest of all natural fibers and is still highly valued. Even shellac, used as a protective coating on furniture, floors, etc., is derived from a tiny insect called laccifer lacca.
The benefits of insects are many. They are definitely worth being thankful for. That being said, there are plenty of insects that you don’t want in your home, either because they are dangerous, destructive, or highly annoying. It is these insects that Midwest Pest Control can help you with. We want to keep your family safe and comfortable by helping to eliminate pests. During this wonderful season, we are thankful for beneficial bugs, but most especially for our loyal customers. Happy Thanksgiving!